Next time, show them a smile.

I find it odd, that on Valentine’s Day, I discern more depressed posts on Facebook concerning not going out for the evening than posts expressing joy for whom they intimately have in their life right now. I see people constantly stress over “that cute girl” or “that hot guy” that 80% of people I know cannot muster up courage to speak to him or her. I walk around my campus and watch people put forth the conscious effort not to make eye-contact with anyone not familiar.

Intrigued, I wonder why, in the generation of the most social atmosphere ever presented in the history of mankind, we find ourselves captivated by what the screen eighteen inches from our face presents, instead of the probable like-minded souls and relationships waiting to happen. Of course, I do occasionally find myself at fault for partaking in such an act, yet, I shame myself at missing the chance of meeting someone new and expanding my personal network– perhaps missing out on a meaningful relationship with an ordinary stranger.

I strive to present a social, outgoing demeanor; you should as well.

Put the phone down when conversing; speak to them through consistent eye-contact, the utmost attention, and of course, an endearing smile.

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What’s life without a little adventure?

One occurrence that consistently delivers unmatched enjoyment is the sheer magnificence of a spontaneous, exhilarating adventure. Ranging from a hike up the mountains, to an unplanned drive somewhere new, it is from these adventures I receive a heightened wellbeing, a newfound understanding from being outside my normal environment, and the sheer joy from doing something exciting–whether by myself or accompanied by other adventuring souls.

Adventures pull us away from the habitual routine we place upon ourself everyday, routines that take away many new experiences and chances for growth.

I challenge you:
Switch it up; do something different. And see that there are countless adventures waiting for you.

Next time you make a decision…

Each and every day we are given the opportunity to make decisions— some more important than others. We deviate decisions based on how we feel, the risk of them, and how each decision can benefit us. When decisions come at a great cost— money, time, resources— we examine closer the potential return, the potential benefit, and the potential lost.

Human nature tells us to invest the least possible amount of resources in an act of safety and cautiousness. Yet, we are better off investing a little more than we want, instead of investing a little less than we needIn the long run, that little extra effort, that little extra cost, will always prove cheaper and more beneficial. It’s vitally crucial, not that the utmost is put in to it (depending on circumstances), but that a more than adequate amount is put forth. You excel by creating a strong base and investing a little more than “just the right amount,” assuring safety and assuring a flourishing future.
When in a new pursuit, whatever it may be, commit to it, and, by investing the proper amount, see yourself advancing to the next level.

Be Phenomenal

We bleed passions; we dream; we strive for greatness. Yet, of course, the question remains, “how?”. I live for my ambitions, but not knowing the answer troubles me. I step in the right direction, putting my faith in God that everything transpires better than imagined. Envisioning, however, is half the battle. If the ambitions are truly passionate, long days, long weeks, and long years shall not dismay you. Eliminate old habits and sacrifice the person you are, for the blissful, successful person you’ll become. Nonetheless, if it proved easy there would be no pride–there would be no accomplishment. For now, until reaching the dream, you must BE PHENOMENAL. In every endeavor, in every piece of work, in everything you do— put forth the most absolute effort, inline with your vision, and remember the dreams you conceive and what you strive to accomplish. With the utmost dedication, the occasional gratification, and the discipline to continuously reach for a profound future, you will accomplish your wildest dreams and bask in the glory, riches, and pride that accompany it.

Develop a Passion.

The clock shows 10:42PM on a Saturday night. A friend sits to the left of me, tirelessly grinding away at the bureaucracy of applying to her dream school; another friend sits to the right of me, painstakingly refining the third draft of his research paper covering global diplomatic affairs. Choosing to “stay in,” we forfeit the chance to either go out or go to sleep. Going against the stereotypical Saturday night of our peers, why exactly do we work through the long hours, chipping away at homework and self-educating on all there is to offer? Perhaps our passions differentiate between the standard, party-chasing student; perhaps we’ve become fond of the happening of learning; perhaps this is our passion. It’s not an ambition to skip going out with our friends, but an ambition for self-actualization– thriving to develop personally and professionally, doing what needs to be done, as we reach for our goals.

That’s what drives me; that’s what drives us. I have no problem prioritizing my efforts, working the late night and early dawn hours, and, when necessary, standing alone to fulfill my vision.

What’s your passion?

I made a mistake…

Life consists of ups and downs, victories and losses, opportunities and failures— experiences that allow growth. They shape demeanor, build personalities, and create character. However, one circumstance battles the accumulation of it all, mistakes.

We’re human; mistakes happen. Sometimes we let down ourselves; sometimes we let down the people around us; sometimes we let down the people whom admire us. But, more than anything, mistakes do not define us, our actions afterward do.  Unfortunately inevitable, once occurred, mistakes give us the responsibility to respond and the opportunity to learn from it. Forgive and forget; own up to mistakes. We don’t plan for them, and that sense of sheer unexpectedness, catching you off balance, unveils your true colors.

Handle it maturely. Take responsibility. Learn from it. Shape your future…

I’m sorry.

Feeling stuck? This might be the answer…

Tending to resemble a simplistic, routine order of operations, our days unfortunately begin with something we have done, consist of something we have done, and end with something we have done. We claim to “live life to the fullest,” but truly, how extraordinary are our lives? As many of you ponder, I deny saying that we don’t absolutely love and cherish our existence and the blessing within it, but I am claiming that a point of comfortability, when reached, acts synonymous with not truly living our lives to the maximum capability that we acutely identify ourselves of doing. It’s when we journey outside the comfort zone and assume risk, that we experience a new definition of the “fullest” we desire. It begins with trying something new, adventuring somewhere different, or simply speaking to someone unfamiliar. Step your foot into the doorway of unconventionality; see where the hallway of different takes you.

-JohnFrancis

Tell me why I am here… (Formal Education)

It’s 7:35AM. Hardly awake, semi-coherent, and mildly flustered, I sit in a class that pertains nothing to my major, interests, or wellbeing, yet is essential to take to fulfill my general education requirements. I paid over $1,000 to sit in this class at 7:30AM three times a week over the course of the next four months. The book alone cost $230, and the teacher proclaims spending at least 8 hours a week, outside of class, on book problems, readings, and independent research. With the minimal amount of curiosity and the utmost amount of frustration, I ask myself, “why am I here?”

Sure one can argue: it’s a beneficial cross-discipline, it is informational, you need to do it, etc., but honestly, what does this class offer me, the business economics undergrad striving to establish my future while managing my ever-raging, high-minded ambition for success? I  despise learning about genetic patterns and anthropological theory (sorry if you take offense) while my mind focuses on perfecting the skills of success and investing time in practical work that beneficially shapes my future. I concentrate on what interests me, what I want to do, and who I want to become– all the rest remains somewhat obsolete in that discretion– now tell me, “why am I here?” 

As a student of formal education, I question its effectiveness for utilization down the road. Here to get educated nonetheless, what are we truly being taught? Theoretical, trivial knowledge? Or the skills and habits that lay the framework for a sophisticated, bright future? Some teachers understand the importance of expressing to students why they should be here, and the “useful” knowledge they should retain, yet the vast majority of professors adhere to a system and its standards, teaching in the liberal arts fashion, never addressing the relevant: what to look for in life, what to do, where to go, how to act, etc. I remain mindful of the professional occupations requiring intensive schooling and independent research– I applaud it– but for the remaining 97% percent of us, our time, money, and dedication is better spent indulging in the art of success in our relative personal and professional lives, through means of experience and focused learning by books and mentors, rather than memorizing and regurgitating facts to get an A in a course that places me closer to receiving a piece of paper that claims I’m “educated.”

Invest in success; invest in your future. Focus on the applicable. Get it?

Martin had a dream, can we have one?

To display affection for MLK day, I thought to expand upon dreams– not the dreams of night, but the ones of influence that inspire your decisions, choices, and actions every waking moment.

Dreams vary in accordance to wants, needs, and interests. Some dream of a new home, while some dream of overcoming poverty; some dream of touching the lives of millions, while some dream of a future with one other soul. Whatever the dream, the innate fact that we all dream is the connection we share. Not only entitled, we are deserving of a dream. We strive for the better things in our lives, our communities, and our world. The journey to fulfillment sometimes falters by speed bumps and distractions, enticing failure when reaching for completion, but nonetheless, we share the common journey of pursuing a dream. Here for a purpose decided upon by you, we realize we dream together. Every one fights a battle; every one chases a dream.

I dream of leaving an impact in some beneficial, elusive way for everyone. What will I do for them? Not sure. How will I do it? Haven’t figured it out. But I dream to make it happen, and I promise I’ll provide the steadfast dedication to realize it.

“The whirlwinds of revolution will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” – Martin Luther King

What’s Your Message?

“My life is my message.” – Gandhi

Gandhi, a blissful, endearing man, crafted an array of beautiful quotes, but none move me like this simple, five-word sentence. The clarity of his message for Indian independence glistened through every form of nonviolent civil disobedience and act of peace.

The cultivators of time, like Gandhi and others who’ve generated an extravagant impact, each visioned to change something in the world– their message. Whatever it be, they did so through the actions, endeavors, and hard-fought victories and losses. Striving to expand my means and push myself to achieve some kind of contribution to this planet, I question, what is it I want to do? What is it I want to change?

What’s my message?

What’s your’s?